An official release from the Governor’s Secretariat said: ‘On the advice of the Chief Minister, the Governor has appointed M K Stalin, Minister for Rural Development and Local Administration as Deputy Chief Minister.’
The release added: ‘The subjects General Administration, District Revenue Officers, Industries, Minorities Welfare, Passports, Special Initiatives and Social Reforms hitherto held by the Chief Minister are re-allocated to Stalin, in addition to the subjects now held by him.’ Consequent to this, Stalin is re-designated as Deputy Chief Minister.’
In a formal announcement, Karunanidhi said that Stalin was being the Deputy Chief Minister in the light of his own health-related problems (back pain after spinal surgery). Karunanidhi also revealed that Finance Minister K Anbhazhagan, who was the notional number two in the TN Ministerial team, could not be made the Deputy CM as he was also not enjoying good health. ‘The decision to make Deputy CM was taken after consultation with Anbhazagan,’ Karunanidhi said.
It may be recalled that only on 18 May Karunanidhi replied in the negative when asked whether Stalin will be made the Deputy Chief Minister.
Karunandhi however told reporters he would ‘consider’ it if his son put forth a request for the post of the Deputy Chief Minister. ‘I think he (Stalin) will not make such a demand’, he was quick to add.
When a reporter wanted to know ‘if the crown will be passed on to Stalin on his (CM’s) birthday— 3 June’, Karunanidhi replied, ‘Coronations are not taking place anywhere in the country these days.’
However, with just five more days left for the octogenarian’s birthday, he has now made his son the Deputy Chief Minister of the State, implicitly making an announcement that the younger son would be his heir apparent to the ‘throne’ in Tamilnadu.
It was so far viewed that Azhagiri would pose a hindrance to Stalin’s elevation to the Chief Minister’s chair.
However, the DMK’s victory in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections had made things easy for Karunanidhi. For, he had made his elder son the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, grand nephew Dayanidhi Maran the Central Minister for Textiles and now his younger son M K Stalin the State’s Deputy Chief Minister.
However, he is yet to ‘do the needful’ to his daughter Kanimozhi, who is a Rajya Sabha MP now.